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Spicy One-Pot Mexican Rice Recipe

My Spicy One-Pot Mexican Rice Recipe is a quick and easy side dish that is packed with flavor, and uses some simple dump and go ingredients that’ll leave you wondering how you ever lived without this on taco night! 

Spicy Mexican Rice

Spicy Mexican Rice Recipe

Spicy Mexican Rice and Beans are perfect as a side dish for your next taco Tuesday, or as a filling for an awesome burrito. This packs a bit of spice, so if you have some sensitive mouths in your family pay close attention to the recipe notes for a non-spicy alternative.

Tips for great Mexican or Spanish Rice

Mexican Rice is really easy to whip up, even if you are a beginner cook. This is a one-pot meal, so you don’t have to worry about dirtying a sinkful for one side dish, and it is basically just dump and go. 

There are a few things that differentiate my version from your typical Mexican Rice.

Brown your rice

The key to a really good Mexican rice dish is to properly brown the rice a bit before you cook it. It gives the whole dish a flavor that adds some depth and a nutty base, and it also helps to keep the grains from sticking together during the cooking process.

Don’t stir it too often

This is one of those recipes that you want to fuss with as little as possible. Keep it covered and let it cook, only stir it once or twice during the cook time, at most, to ensure even cooking. 

What kind of rice works best for One-Pot Mexican Rice?

You can use any type of long-grain white rice for this dish. I’ve even used Jasmine rice in a pinch and it worked very well. Be careful to adjust cook time and the amount of liquid

What if I don’t like spice?

If spicy foods aren’t your thing, you can make some easy adjustments to tone it down a bit. For instance:

Swap the diced tomatoes with spicy red pepper for a can of Rotel with green chilies, or just a can of petite diced potatoes.

Sub in a cup of mild salsa instead of the El Pato Hot Tomato Sauce.

Is there a difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice?

Not really. They both have basically the same flavors and ingredients. Traditionally most Spanish Rice is made with Saffron, however, which is not a spice that we keep in the house much so tend to opt out.

Is Mexican rice healthy?

It depends on your definition of healthy. I am not a dietician so I cannot weigh in on the scientific “health”, or not, of this particular dish, but I personally subscribe to the logic that people should eat what they want…in moderation.

What can I add to rice?

There are so many stir-ins you can consider to change-up this awesome Mexican Rice Recipe!

  • Sliced bell pepper
  • Fresh jalapeno
  • Pinto or great Northern beans

Need a main dish to go with this rice?

Spicy Mexican Rice
Yield: 6 servings

Spicy One-Pot Mexican Rice

Spicy Mexican Rice

Spicy Mexican Rice made from scratch and all in ONE pot! Add in some taco meat to make it a complete meal, or serve as a side at your next taco Tuesday!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, salted
  • 1 - 15.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with spicy red pepper, or sub the green chili variety for a less-spicy version
  • 1 - 7.75 El Pato Hot Tomato Sauce, yellow can
  • 1 - 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 pieces lime, cut into serving-sized


  1. Place the rice and butter into a skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly, until the rice is lightly browned.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, El Pato, black beans, water, and cumin. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low (a very low simmer), and cover. Stir occasionally after 4-5 minutes to reincorporate liquid throughout the dish, and then recover and cool an additional 5-10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and salt. Taste. Cook additional 5 minutes if necessary, or until the rice is done. (Different varieties of rice will have different cook times.)
  4. Garnish with lime and cilantro, and let guest squeeze lime over the finished rice.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 433Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 3107mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 14gSugar: 21gProtein: 23g

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Friday 3rd of January 2020

recipe seems to have omitted some of the timing around cooking of the rice.. never states bringing to a boil and only states cooking for 4-5 min and cooling for 5-10. rice dishes of this sort are usually brought to a boil then simmer for 20-25 or so.

Nicole Johnson

Saturday 4th of January 2020

How long the rice takes to cook depends on what type of rice it is. When I made this, I used Jasmine rice. Your times may vary if you use a different kind of rice. I just reviewed the recipe, and it is complete. The basics are if the rice isn't tender, keep cooking it. If it needs a little more water, add some. ;)

Thanks for dropping by!


Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

I have a similar recipe using chicken broth in place of the water. I always add about 3/4 cup of mixed frozen veggies right after I pour in the broth. You know, the kind with peas, carrots, corn and green beans all in one bag? However, I think I will try using black or pinto beans instead of the veggies for something different. Looks so tasty!

Nicole Johnson

Thursday 4th of July 2019

Sounds amazing! Thanks for stopping by!

Chicken and Cilantro Cream Sauce » Or Whatever You Do

Thursday 26th of May 2016

[…] a quick dinner that cooks in a flash, and is perfect for a weeknight meal. You can serve it with a spicy Mexican rice, or slice it and put it on top of the best taco salad you’ll ever […]

Smothered Burritos » Or Whatever You Do

Tuesday 17th of May 2016

[…] else can you use this awesome stuff in? I have a fantastic spicy one-pot Mexican rice, spicy carnitas, and a grilled chicken taco recipe that’s begging to have this cilantro added […]

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

Monday 25th of April 2016

My hubby and I just got approved for TSA pre-check a couple of months ago and it's sooo worth it since we travel alot! It saves us a ton of time and trouble. Love this meal - one pot meals and Mexican food are two of my favorite things :)

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